5.280 seconds is the time to beat! William Orrell holds the world record in cycle cup stacking (you have to see it to believe it). If you’ve never tried this before, you’re missing out on a fun, popular sport for kids of all ages. Cup stacking incorporates hand and eye coordination with architecture basics in two and three dimensions. Cup stackers create specific cup stacks and artfully collapse them down in seconds. It happens so fast that if you blink, you’ll miss it.
Any plastic cups will work, but think about the space you are working in before you select your cups. Smaller 3-ounce cups are perfectly sized for little hands building on table tops. If you have a larger space and bigger kids, the giant 16-ounce cups will be your best option. Paper cups can be used, but they tend to get squished more easily.
Now grab your cups, settle into your building space, and get ready for cup stacking games. Give each stacker 10 cups. Have each person build a basic 3-D pyramid with a triangular base of 6 cups (see photo above). Next have them build a “2-D” pyramid with a base of 4 cups.
Which structure was easiest to construct? Did the kids notice that the closer the cups are to each other, the sturdier the pyramid is? How quickly can your crew collapse the structures?
Next, use all of the cups to build a circular tower (see photo above) as a team. Why is this more difficult to construct? Notice the cups are not able to stack as closely together and are more on the edge of the cup below. This makes for trickier tower building. Older kids may enjoy the challenge of figuring out the quickest way to collapse this tower. Of course, younger cup stackers may simply enjoy knocking down their creations.
Can’t get enough cup stacking? Don’t miss this Bedtime Math problem!
Images courtesy of Beth Levine